Queens Park Rangers has signed midfielder Joey Barton on a free transfer from Premier League rival Newcastle.

The newly-promoted west London club gave Barton a four-year contract after Newcastle made him available for transfer over his public criticism of its transfer policy.

The 28-year-old Barton used his Twitter account to lambast Newcastle's sale of experienced players including Kevin Nolan.

The infamously combative Barton cost Newcastle 5.8 million pounds ($9.4 million) in June 2007 and had one year left on his Newcastle contract.

Since starting at Manchester City, Barton's career has been checkered with disciplinary problems on and off the pitch.